By Richard Hsu
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Karate on My Mind

On my way home from the airport, I like to have conversations with the cab driver. It usually starts with the weather and then move to topics that includes current events. Weather was still cold and we both agreed we had enough of the winter already. In current news, the driver told me about a case of shooting in Brampton court house. That led to a long conversation about possible motives factoring in stressful lifestyle and isolation of new immigrants. We were about 5 minutes away from home when I learnt the driver had 3 teenage boys. I asked him how he kept them out of trouble. He started with "I will give you an idea that is guaranteed to work".

Expecting another long and interesting conversation, I wished we had more time but it turned out his idea was simple and short. Put them into daily Karate classes he said. All his boys have Black Belt, are studying well and behave well. According to him, boys have a lot of energy and time and if you keep them occupied with something that will expend both, at the end of the day, they will be tired and have less time to get into mischief. All they do is go home, eat and sleep. He repeated that it was a guaranteed solution and I should follow it.

I reached home, we shook hands and said our good byes. Not being a fan of learning martial arts, I don't plan to follow his advice with my kids but I do agree they need daily physical activity. My way involves playing ball hockey, swimming, basketball or running around chasing others wildly.

Taxi ride home: $75, parental advice: priceless (line inspired by MasterCard ads).